Abrupt dismissal forces Oakland to part with Reggie Hamilton
Hamilton scored 31 points on 10-of-18 shooting but missed three of four late free throws that could’ve helped Oakland win the game. Instead, they’ve bowed out at the quarterfinal level, not advancing past the tournament’s first round to again defend their title.
“He won a lot of games for us,” Oakland coach Greg Kampe said. “Tonight, it didn’t go his way. No matter who you are, that’s how it always ends up. He had 31 tonight and was 6 of 8 from 3 tonight, but no one is going to remember that. They’re just going to remember what happened down the stretch.”
Hamilton led the Golden Grizzlies to the NCAA tournament last season after sitting out the 2009-10 season after transferring from UMKC.
“The year he sat out, he had a lot to do with that championship,” Kampe said. “If you ask Johnathon Jones, he’ll tell you Reggie made him better.”
Hamilton, understandably, was subdued at the press conference.
“He’s down on himself right now, like he should be, because he’s a great player who wants to win. But that will be forgotten and we’ll remember all the great things he did,” Kampe said.
Hamilton could possibly have one more game with Oakland if the Grizzlies accept an invitation to a postseason tournament. He is also a finalist for Mid-Major Player of the Year after leading the nation in scoring with 25.5 points per game.
Hamilton finishes eighth all-time in Summit League scoring (2,064) and seventh in assists (525).